Today's topic is one I've wanted to write about for a while, but I've procrastinated. The topic is this:
How strict should we be about media, in our families?
The reason I've procrastinated is this:
a) I've walked this one out in my own home somewhat imperfectly
b) I've taken a while to work things out on this one -- As in, work out what God's heart is here.
But today I'm going to give this topic a go, and I think I have reached clarity in my mind about it. Here we go:
In a spiritually mismatched home, media is a hard area to navigate. Why so hard? Well, for most of us, our spouse will have a different view on what is ok and enjoyable to watch on TV. Further, they'll have a different view on whether certain shows, games, or other apps on children's phones are damaging from a spiritual point of view.
That is certainly the case with Bryce and me: We have widely differing views on this one. Like a lot of husbands, Bryce watches a lot of TV in the week to relax, and I can't watch many of the things he watches. I'm too sensitive to it. He's respectful of what I want to ask the kids not to watch, but he's much more relaxed about it all.
So, any rules on this front come from me.
The thing is, having an understanding of the spirit realm there will be things we might see on those phones, and on TV, that our spouses won't recognize. I will watch a TV show, for example, and will see that there is a demonic spirit behind that show. It might be seen in anti-Christ statements, a character that's demonic in nature, witchcraft, strange languages being used, making fun of God, sexuality, or more. But bigger than that, the spirit in me does not like it.
Then, the question, for me, becomes: 'Well, do I stop my family from watching this particular thing? How much does it matter?'
I'll see this in kids' shows even. Or a show that doesn't seem 'all that bad' to my family. A family comedy, for example. I'll watch a show, see things in it ... and will squirm, thinking 'Oh... umm .. mm .. that's.... No.'
Added to that, once our kids are teenagers they most likely will have a phone, unless we're raising them to be technology-free, which most of us aren't. As Christians we will likely have a different opinion to our spouse about what we're happy for our children to be exposed to on those devices.
My boys are now 17 and 18 and honestly I've struggled to know how much of a 'stick-in-the-mud' to be about the various games, shows, and apps.
I know that God wants purity in my life, and I have a responsibility for my home. 'As for me and my household we will serve the Lord' (Joshua 24:15), and that means no compromise. It's also a matter of their spiritual health: I don't want to open doors to the demonic in my home. But it is tough when you're in the minority in your home. And you do want to think about your relationship with your family too -- They have to make choices of their own and learn to make good choices for themselves.
The hard thing about it is doing it on your own. I get laughed at, for example, by my three -- nicely, of course -- for saying 'No witchcraft on TV'. They think I'm nuts. 'Mum hates witchcraft.' And I laugh along and say 'Yes, but please just humor me ok?'
And given all of this, my question -- for myself -- has been:
'How important is this as a battle?'
Well, I'm going to write about that on Monday. But to give you a heads up, the answer I've come to is it is a battle worth engaging in very thoughtfully. It is a matter of their spiritual health, so it's important. And it's one of those battles we have to fight with the Holy Spirit guiding us.
So I'll continue on Monday, but shall we chat in the comments? Is this issue difficult for you, and what questions/issues have you been wrestling with?
See you next time!